Author: Thomas J. Straka
Charcoal has been used as a metallurgical fuel for thousands of years. In the United States it was the fuel of choice for ironmaking and the smelting of other metals for much of the nineteenth century, and an understanding of the basics of charcoal production is necessary for any historical description of those industries. Discussion of the technology and production process in charcoal making rarely addresses the fundamentals of the charcoal itself. Four key attributes of charcoal in terms of this historical context are described: charcoal characteristics, the carbonization process, measuring charcoal, and transporting charcoal.
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